Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lyndhurst Displays

Having never been in to a display home before, I didn't know what the process was.  Do you need to make a booking?  Is it just open house?  How would I know!
Anyway, I looked up where a few displays were and called to ask, and they said just drop by, but if you need to speak to anyone, make an appointment.  That's fair enough I guess.

Finding where Metricon actually put their displays was a bit difficult, but plugged the address in to my GPS and set autopilot.  Thing was, when I got there I couldn't see the Metricon displays anywhere in sight.  Actually, all I saw was Henley.  Couldn't hurt to check them out though, so I started nosing around.

The first thing you're going to notice is that if all you want is something basic, you're not going to see that in a display.  If you're thinking of living in a 17 square home, then maybe you want to go to a display, find a largeish place, and then draw a line down the middle of it.  A few of the Henley displays were so large, that when I looked at the board out the front that said "44 squares", I didn't even bother going inside.

While a lot of what I saw was nice, they all had one thing in common - they were huge, and massive overkill for a single person.

Time was a little short that day, so I had to finish up after going through about 8 out of the 14 or so homes.  Before leaving we had a quick chat about available areas, but they tried to discourage me from going north, and vehemently discourage going West.  Of course.  Why would they talk up an area they weren't selling in?

Saturday, January 28, 2012


All my life, I've lived out in Ferntree Gully.  As a 'proper' cyclist, 40kms isn't too far to commute - and the roads are reasonably friendly.
But for driving and public transport, it's a bit of a pain.  Working in South Melbourne, 90 minutes of my day was being chewed up in travel - each way.  The thought of going even further out with that wasn't one I wanted to consider, but looking at prices, it looked like being necessary to be able to afford anything.

For this reason Berwick wasn't really a truly viable option, but I looked anyway.  But when you're looking at 450k for a 3br place, it's basically already priced itself out of contention.
Cranbourne was the next step, but it neither reduced the pain significantly enough, and only added to the transport time.

Still considering options, I figured I'd have a look at some displays out that way.  I knew about Metricon, so that's where I headed.  It wasn't where I ended up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Because LendLease were the developers of Atherstone, I decided to poke around at what other developments they had going.  Caroline Springs was the obvious location I had heard of, but had no idea of what kind of prices to expect.  Needless to say, when things were floating up around the 550k range, I headed for the first link out of there.

One of those links ended up being Craigieburn.

Years ago my mates and I used to hang crap on Broadmeadows, for no other reason than because the name could not more accurately describe what you could find there.  Much of nothing.  How that's changed, and it's now all developed.  After all those years turning my nose up at places like it, I now found myself looking at living further past it!

I made some enquiries, and it took a few days for LendLease to get back to me, but ultimately I was told "we don't really have anything for you at the moment, but I'll call you in a few months when we have our next release".
In the meantime I kept it in mind, and kept searching.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


What got this whole process started this time was an article I read about a new development - Atherstone. While the distance to the city wasn't exactly appealing at around 40km - it's out in Melton - I did joke that it was a great area if you were a mountain biker, 40km in each direction to four of the most major venues that side of the city.  Maybe one day it might make for a nice second home if ever I couldn't be bothered driving all the way home :D

But the land prices were deceptively realistic.  They were being advertised for around $145k, a price which made me realise "I could actually handle that".  Of course you have to buy the bricks and mortar to go on it, how little did I underestimate that part!  The idea of actually being able to own a decent home for $300k was appealing, and totally doable.

While Atherstone didn't end up being viable because the goal was to reduce travelling distance, it was a catalyst for other options to be looked at.

So it starts

It's about time I started getting this all down in writing before it's long forgotten.

Over the years I've occasionally looked at houses, but for whatever reason I ultimately decide not to bother, and end up still living with the parents, syphoning wads of cash in to an ever-growing account that I had nothing better to do with. Late last year a few ads popped up, and I took interest.  The listed prices actually looked reasonable.

Then I got to crunching numbers.  Everyone's banking on some kind of massive market crash.  I also looked at the situation where this fabled market crash doesn't happen and decided it's as much a risk to not act.

The intent of this blog is to help anyone who's going through this process who, like me, has absolutely no idea what they're getting themselves in to or how it all works.  Hopefully, the lessons I learn the hard way can help someone else in future.
The other important factor was that most places you look, people are only interested in blogging/bragging about their McMansions.  There are tons of blogs out there of small families/couples building 45sq homes on 700m^2 of land.  This will be a bit different, since I'm working within the bounds of a single income and without having someone telling me I need timber and glass and flowers everywhere ;)

The next few posts I'll go through the initial considerations - land, designs, financing - the essentials.  Bear with me, as the early posts are backdated so relying on memory recall a bit.

But before getting too far in, I'll just leave you with this to explain the title of the blog, which will become apparent soon why I've called it this:

I build my house of stone 
I build my house of bricks
I've had no chance 
To sing and dance
'Cause work and play don't mix.